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Tylecodon kritzingeri (Hook Butterbush)


Scientific Name

Tylecodon kritzingeri E.J.van Jaarsweld

Common Name(s)

Hook Butterbush

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Tylecodon


This species is native to South Africa (Northern Cape), where it grows inside bushes on steep slopes.


Tylecodon kritzingeri is a succulent plant with a slender, scrambling or scandent, sparingly branched stem that grows up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall from a tuberous base. Branches are grey with dark striations. Leaves are green, smooth, linear, flat, slightly grooved above, and often recurved towards tips to help in climbing. They are up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) wide. Flowers are upright, tubular, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, and pale green with dark maroon to reddish upper face. They appear on up to 8 inches (20 cm) long stalk in mid-summer. The leaves are dry at flowering.


The specific epithet "kritzingeri (kritz-ING-ger-ee)" honors Kobus Kritzinger (1953-), one of the collectors of the species in September 1981, then law enforcement officer of the Cape Department of Nature and Environmental Conservation and Management.

How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon kritzingeri

Light: This succulent can survive direct sunlight exposure without any problems, but it will grow beautifully in partial shade.

Soil: A well-draining soil mix is a key to healthy T. kritzingeri. Poor drainage and overwatering most commonly cause root rot in both indoor and outdoor plants. Indoors, it is essential to use pots with at least one drainage hole at the bottom.

Hardiness: Like all Tylecodons, this succulent is extremely tolerant when it comes to high temperatures and also tolerant of cold, frost-free conditions during the winter. T. kritzingeri can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Watering: As a winter grower, T. kritzingeri requires careful watering during winter and spring. Get the soil wet, and then wait until it is dry before watering again. In summer, reduce watering to once per month.

Fertilizing: Use liquid fertilizer for cacti and other succulents during the winter months.

Repotting: You do not need to repot this plant often. You can do it when you see that the container becomes too small or shallow.

Propagation: T. kritzingeri can be cultivated either by seed or by cuttings. Sow the seeds in fall and winter. The best time for taking cuttings is the fall.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Tylecodon.

Toxicity of Tylecodon kritzingeri

T. kritzingeri is adapted to avoid animal predation being poisonous. Keep it away from children, pets, and livestock.


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